Is Manateean a Delphinic Creole?—Horatio Phocaena Gaugauh Kamadugha — JLSSCNC Vol I, No 4 Contents Saussure and Bloomfield: The Question of Influence—Tim Pulju

“Hoist ’er up and let ’er rip”: Androcentrism further Explored

by Lynn Poulton

In the most recent edition of the crypto-fascist, neo-reactionary, patriarchal journal of the Linguistic Society of South-Central New Caledonia, there was published a truly enlightened and intelligent article by Angela Dworkin. Ms. Dworkin investigates the nature and form of oppression and androcentrism alive and kicking in linguistics today. For instance, she touches upon my own mysterious removal from the editorial board of said journala story which indeed needs to be told, but perhaps here is not the place. (Suffice it to say that there were secret meetings in private clubs and on exclusive golf coursesplaces which do not even admit womynand that Mr. Pulju himself, that shadowy figure, so seldom seen or heard, emerged from his seclusion to attend these meetings. I was not apprised of these meetings, nor indeed did I know anything of them until I learnt, from a third party, of my summary removal.)

Excellent though Ms. Dworkin’s article is, it does not go far enough! She merely reports the surface manifestation of a much deeper problemthe appropriation and coercion of our very language to the purposes of the oppressor. Take, for example, the simple example of pronouns in English. Simple you say? Ask yourself for a moment why ships are always referred to as ‘she’. A minute’s reflection will show you that his is a thinly veiled reference to the long-standing female-oppressing notion of witchcraft. In the Middle Ages womyn were routinely thrown into the water, and if they floated, were declared to be witches and burnt. Ships also float, and the use of the feminine pronoun to refer to them is an obvious and blatant reminder that we too, at any time, may be burnt at the whim of the patriarchal, androcentric oppressor. Consider also, “hoist her up”, “let her rip”, “toss her over here”, “Margaret Thatcher”, etc., etc., thinly disguised calls for anti-feminist violence. There are many examples of such phenomena, and they are far from coincidentalthe whole metaphoric nature of the language, as it now exists, is designed to both threaten and oppress womyn, and to bolster up and maintain men. As linguists, we have a clear duty to oppose this coercion of language, and to promote less threatening and oppressive usage. We already have Language, now we must seek to wrest control of other patriarchal linguistic organizations. The language will be perfect when the revolution is complete. Today Rice University, tomorrow MIT!

Is Manateean a Delphinic Creole?—Horatio Phocaena
Saussure and Bloomfield: The Question of Influence—Tim Pulju
Gaugauh Kamadugha — JLSSCNC Vol I, No 4 Contents